French American author Samantha Vérant delivers perfectly seasoned fiction that combines her passions in life – France, food and love. And her latest book, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique, set in Paris, is a romantic and culinary delight.
Hi there. I’m your host, Jenny Wheeler, and in Binge Reading this week, Samantha talks about moving to France and marrying a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989, but ignored for 20 years, and writing about that adventure in bestselling memoirs and three entertaining romcoms accompanied by lots of mouth-watering recipes.
As usual, we’ve got some great giveaways – details for those and all of Samantha’s contact details – she’s happy to answer book club questions if you’re interested – in the show notes for this episode on the website, thejoysofbingereading.com.
And remember, if you like the show, do recommend us to other people. Leave us a review so others will hear about the show too. There’s nothing better than word of mouth recommendations,
This week’s Giveaway
Ten free copies of Poisoned Legacy in Audio to give away to ten lucky readers/listeners
FREE OFFER LIMITED TO FIRST TEN LISTENERS
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Links to topics discussed in the show
Michelin Stars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelin_Guide
Dominque Crenn” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominique_Crenn
Her restaurant – Atelier Crenn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atelier_Crenn
Gabrielle Hamilton: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrielle_Hamilton_(chef)
The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux; http://www.samanthaverant.com/2020/01/the-secret-french-recipes-of-sophie.html
Sophie Valroux’s Paris Stars: http://www.samanthaverant.com/p/sophie-valrouxs-paris-stars.htmlie
Seven Letters From Paris: http://www.samanthaverant.com/2020/01/seven-letters-from-paris.html
How To Make A French Family: http://www.samanthaverant.com/2020/01/how-to-make-french-family.html
Charles’s Coconut Ice Cream Recipes Link http://www.samanthaverant.com/2022/12/happy-holidays-and-easy-recipe-from.html
Marcel Proust and the Madeleine Effect: https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2020/07/more-than-cake-unravelling-the-mysteries-of-proust-s-madeleine
Remembrance Of Things Past Marcel Proust: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_of_Lost_Time
Recipes for Wild boar and Pot Au Feu De La Mer:
Matt Haig The Midnight Library: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52578297-the-midnight-library
Forever Hold Your Peace: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/721248/forever-hold-your-peace-by-liz-fenton-and-lisa-steinke/
A Man Called Ove, Frederik Backman: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18774964-a-man-called-ove
Charlotte’s Web, E. B. Wright: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte%27s_Web
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Garden
Roald Dahl: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roald_Dahl
The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe, C S Lewis:
Where to find Samantha Vérant Online
But now here’s our show.
Introducing author Samantha Verant
Jenny Wheeler: Hello there, Samantha, and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us.
Samantha Vérant: Hi Jenny. Thanks for having me. I’m here in France, in southwestern France, and you’re way over there in New Zealand.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s right, and we’ve got to be honest, this is our second attempt at this.
We had a disastrous attempt a couple of nights ago where for some reason we got a double recording of our voices. So this time it’s going to be trouble free.
We’re talking today about your latest book, The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique, your most recent fiction.
It’s a fantastic story of a French American chef in Paris, setting up a new restaurant, but all of your books show passion for two things, France and food, and I wondered which came first?
Samantha Vérant: Well, honestly, food came first. When I was nine years old, I was ripping out recipes from Bon Appetite and Gourmet Magazine.
And I think my pièce de résistance came when I was eleven and I made a 20 pound Sundae Pie with chocolate leaves for decoration.
I molded them from actual leaves. It’s a big joke in my family because my father was like, ‘this pie weighs so much,’ but I’ve always been drawn to the kitchen and cooking.
And then when I moved to France! Hello French recipes.
Jenny Wheeler: That sounds gorgeous. Now the fiction that you’ve written, the heroines, are all female chefs.
You write about food and love, but it’s not as if they just fall into men’s arms. You give them very strong individual stories. They’re following their dreams, and in the case of all of your heroines so far, they’re chasing after Michelin stars.
Talk a bit about the Michelin star’s status in the food industry and why it’s so important for women to get them.
Women and Michelin stars…
Samantha Vérant: Well, it’s really important because they’ve been sideswiped by Michelin, and you’ll find many men have the stars and it’s a very competitive, arena for women to fight for. But there are more and more women coming out that, are starred or making their mark in the culinary world.
So it’s really important to get rid of the misogyny in the kitchen and move forward with that.
Jenny Wheeler: Who was the first woman to get a Michelin star?
Samantha Vérant: Ooh, the first woman? Ooh, good question. I’m not sure, but I know chefs like Dominique Crenn. She recently received a star, and she is a wonderful chef. She’s in San Francisco, she’s French.
Jenny Wheeler: Has she got her own restaurant?
Samantha Vérant : Yeah, it’s Atelier Crenn and she’s a very go-for-the-gusto kind of chef. Then there’s Gabrielle Hamilton, and she’s really well known. Little by little women are getting known as female chefs – and they should just be called chefs – they are making their mark, so that’s awesome.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, I noticed that in Bistro Exotique, you make a point of giving your heroine, the title Chef, and I gather sometimes it’s difficult for women to get the respect of being called Chef in the kitchen, although it’s readily given to men. Do I understand that right?
Just call her ‘Chef’ if she’s the boss
Samantha Vérant I think any leader in a kitchen, they should be called Chef. ‘Yes, chef. Oui chef.’
It is a sign of respect. She had interns in the kitchen and they looked to the male lead in the book. They were calling him Chef and he said, no, that title’s reserved for Sophie.
And that was a major sign of his respect for her.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. That was a great moment in the book, actually. You have two fiction books before this, and two books of memoir.
We’ll talk about the memoir a little later because that was where you first started, but the first faction was. The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux That was her first one, and then Sophie Valroux’s Paris Stars was the second.
They were, as you would imagine, the same heroine in a continuing story. Sophie begins with a disastrous experience in a New York restaurant, partly set up by this misogyny that you’ve been referring to, and she believes that her cooking career is over, so she escapes to France. Tell us a bit about the background for those stories.
Samantha Vérant: The background for The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux?
Initially I really wanted to write a book that takes place in the area that I live in, which is southwestern France. So the area it takes place in is about an hour away from my home. And the misogyny in the kitchen and there’s always an American, because I’m American who is moving or working, or living in France in my books because it’s something I very much relate to.
The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux
So the brief synopsis is she is set up by an ex-boyfriend.
She’s actually a sous chef at a New York restaurant, and she is blamed for the loss of a Michelin star, which is devastating in the world. She didn’t do it.
Her grandmother has a chateau in Southwestern France, and Sophie arrives to France to lick her wounds and to have a new start in life but what she’s not expecting is the Chateau has two restaurants and she’s expected to lead one of them, after her terrible downfall.
So the story is about her getting her morale back together. She is whiny and cringey in the beginning, but little by little after having such a failure and feeling devastated.
She finds her heart and her way back into the kitchen, mainly through her grandmother’s recipes.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. And even in Bistro Exotique you talk about the gaining of self-confidence as well as love through her work. This feeling of having some purpose in life is very important to your main characters, isn’t it?
Samantha Vérant: I think following your dreams is really important. Even when you’re feeling down, you have to persevere, move forward. and not let life slap you down. That’s important.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. You provided a generous number of recipes for readers in all of these books and in Bistro Exotique it’s a fantastic looking ice cream recipe, Charles’s Coconut Ice Cream.
Readers can get the recipe from your website if they want to. We’ll have links for it in the shownotes for this episode.
Do you get a lot of good feedback from people? Do they make some of your suggestions?
Moving to La France – the big adventure
Samantha Vérant : Oh yeah, they do. And I think it’s an added bonus to have recipes in the book, especially since I’m describing the food.
And what if somebody who’s oh my God, that sounds so great, and they want to make it.
And so before writing out the recipes, of course, I test them a lot and I have my two French critics here, or three actually my French family.
And so they eat really well I’m testing.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s wonderful. Yes. You mentioned your French family rather provocatively on your website you say that you quotes married a sexy French rocket scientists that you met in 1989 brackets, (but ignored for 20 years.)
Now you can’t leave a teaser like that without giving us a little bit of background story there
Samantha Vérant: I met my French husband at a cafe in Paris in 1989. I was 19, he was 26, and I was with my best friend Tracy, who is also, it’s in the memoir.
This story’s in Seven Letters From Paris and he wrote me, after our brief rendezvous, he wrote me seven love letters, and I didn’t write him back until 20 years later.
I’m now married to him. our 13th wedding anniversary is May 7th.
Seven Letter From Paris
Jenny Wheeler: Oh, fantastic. And when you wrote back, give the readers a little bit of explanation about how you wrote back. You actually were just trying to apologize a little bit, weren’t you?
Samantha Vérant: Yes, it was only supposed to be an apology. I was going through a divorce and packing up my things, and I found his letters, and I said, why didn’t I ever write him back?
So I just wrote him, ‘I’m so sorry. I just wanted to let you know, I’ve always kept your letters and they meant a lot to me at the time, but at the time I was too young to connect with them.’
They were very romantic. He was ready for maybe a relationship and I was finishing up university. I was young. And at first, he didn’t know who I was, he thought Samantha? Could this be a trap to go to a porno site?
So he didn’t respond to me at all. And finally, it clicked in his head and he was like ‘Oh yeah. I remember the American girl,’ and he wrote me back and one thing led to another.
We started emailing. He was going through a divorce as well, and we were emailing and emails turned to Skyping and FaceTiming, and eventually I went to France to meet up with him again.
Jenny Wheeler: Now, as you say, that story is told in Seven Letters From Paris and some of the excerpts, I think almost the total content of the letters, is in the book.
And then you followed it up with How To Make A French family. So you wrote these two memoirs, which related very directly to your life before you started on the fiction.
Did you find that transition from memoir to fiction difficult and did it change your writing process when you did make that change?
Writing proces – from ‘pantser’ to ‘plotter’
Samantha Vérant: I don’t think it really changed the writing process because even with memoir, you need a beginning, a middle, an end.
You need conflict, character growth. But also, I was writing fiction before the memoirs.
I started writing young adult in middle grade and then my story began happening to me. So I actually started writing Seven Letters during this whole process. And the funny thing was I didn’t have the ending yet.
Jenny Wheeler: And with your books, is that the same? Do you know the ending at the beginning?
Samantha Vérant: Now I do because if you’re working with an agent, which I did not have for Seven Letters, I actually sold the book myself to Sourcebooks who accepted unsolicited manuscripts at that time.
I don’t know if they still do. They might, I have no idea, but, For Secret French Recipes, I was what is called ‘pantser.’
I was flying by the seat of my pants. There were many plot points that drastically changed.
And then moving forward for the next book, the follow up book for the proposal, I had to do a full outline for the publisher. So now my writing style has changed from plotter or pantster to plotter and in between.
So I am a ‘planster,’ somebody that plots and flies by the seat of their pants.
How To Make A French Family
Jenny Wheeler: With that second book your two children in the family were probably getting to the age where they’re a little bit sensitive about their public profiles. How did you resolve that? Did you discuss it with them beforehand that you were going to put them in the book? Did you use their real names?
Samantha Vérant: I used their real names and Jen Luc’s real name. So when you Google my husband, I come up. They, no, they just basically request no photos. There are few and far between photos of them online. They didn’t mind being in the book. It’s memoir. There, there were some name changes.
My ex-husband his name is not Chris.
Jenny Wheeler: I noticed that you make yourself willing to record YouTube videos for book clubs around the world because the whole thing of setting up book club interviews across time zones is quite difficult. So you’ve got this great idea they can submit seven questions, which you respond to.
I wondered if you could just give us the details of how you do that. People who might be interested can just go straight online and contact you with it.
Samantha Vérant: That’s actually segued more into, I will create a video and it does work. Sometimes it’s just a, ‘hi, I’m the author. Welcome to Book Club if you have any questions…” because sometimes the questions don’t come prior, but it’s moved to just sending a video to whoever who is hosting that book club segment.
So I can either send it via email, a little video, or uploaded to my Google Drive. Too big of a file and it’s easy to access.
Book clubs questions time
Jenny Wheeler: Oh, that’s great. And can you tell us what countries have you had responses from? Have you had some say in the States, for example?
Samantha Vérant : The States is big because they do most of the marketing for the books in the US, and India where else? Let me see other countries. I don’t know if I’ve ever done one for Australia in New Zealand, but I’d be more than willing to.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s lovely. And is there a question that readers ask you more than any other, is there one popular one that pops up all the time?
Samantha Vérant : Recently The question is there a follow up to Spice Master or, on the flip side, it’s, what are you writing next?
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. And is there a follow up to the Spice Master?
Samantha Vérant : I was thinking about it, but I think it’s fine for a standalone. I had an idea to tell the story in Garrance’s, perspective because she doesn’t have a love match herself, and she really orchestrated the love match with the spices.
Jenny Wheeler: Perhaps it would be a good idea for people who haven’t yet had a chance to read the book to explain who Garrance was and how the story evolves.
Culinary romance and a little magic realism
Samantha Vérant : Okay, so The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique is about an American chef who has lived in Paris since she’s been 15 years old, and she is on the cusp of opening up her own restaurant.
One disaster follows after the other. And she meets this woman Garrance on the corner with her big giant cat who’s actually my cat, and Garrance says, I’m the most renowned spice master in the world. If you use my spices, I can help you. ‘
And Kate’s like nope don’t think so, okay. A strange lady with the cat that wears diamond collars.
But eventually there more disasters and she really needs Garrance’s help, who also happens to be the landlord of her restaurant.
She enlists Garrance’s help, but there’s a caveat she has to work with Garrance’s son, the egotistical and super jerk Charles. So little by little, as Kate gets her grounding, she and Charles begin to work together and the recipes they create and it’s about passion and the sensory passion of food go hand in hand.
So we have meddling moms in Spice Master. We have the enemies to lover trope and a bunch of wacky characters.
Jenny Wheeler: And there’s a little bit of magic realism in it too, in a sense, isn’t there? Because Kate gets transported to genuinely tropical islands when she smells these spices and she wonders whether Garrance has put a spell on the spices somehow. You have some wonderful descriptions there of the images that come to her mind when she smells these spices.
Memorable meals in France
Samantha Vérant: that was inspired by the idea that food does transport you. I think Marcel Proust, he wrote in one of his stories, he’s eating a Madeleine.
And he could taste the way his grandmother made it. It’s very famous, in The Remembrance Of Things Past. It’s just about the magic of food and how, if you’re eating something and you’re just placed and then, where the memories come.
Like your grandmother’s kitchen or, somewhere else, the islands. And that’s what Kate thinks. So the magical, in the beginning of the book, I said, is it real or is it not? So it could be, but it might not be.
Jenny Wheeler: When you went to France and started eating French food, was there a particular meal or dish which still resonates for you today?
Samantha Vérant: I think all of them, but the one that resonates with me the most was my first Christmas in France. it was Civet de Sanglier, which is wild boar.
And my brother-in-law was like, ‘I shot at myself,’ and I looked at the sauce and I nudged Jean Luc with my elbow. I said, ‘What is the sauce?’ And he’s like, ‘It’s wonderful. It’s blood sauce.”
And I went, ‘Oh, I don’t think I can eat this.’ I took a bite. It wasn’t for me, but since then it was ‘feet into the fire’ with some French meals. But that’s the most memorable one. And I actually do like it after having it a second and third time.
Clearly, I’m not a vegetarian!
Samantha Vérant: Renaissance woman
Jenny Wheeler: It was interesting too, you wrote about that fish meal that Jean Luc ordered for you and you absolutely hated it.
Samantha Vérant: Oh Yes, that was another one. It was Pot Au Feu De La Mer, which is basically fish stew, and I had eyeballs and heads staring up at me. It was so awkward. And I’m trying to be polite.
‘How’s your meal?’
Oh yeah. It’s great. ‘I’m like, do you want some?’
Jenny Wheeler: I think he guessed that you hated it, didn’t he?
Samantha Vérant: He did, he liked watching me squirm.
Jenny Wheeler: Moving on from the specific books to a wider look at your creative writing life, you mentioned that you had started writing before you even went to France. Tell us a bit about those first 20 years or so and what were you doing and how did it help feed into your creative life when you started writing?
Samantha Vérant: Okay, so I’ve always been a Renaissance woman. I guess I could use that expression. I’ve always been a creative. I went to performing arts high school. I auditioned for voice, and theater, and chose theater as my major.
And then art really took over my life and I went to Syracuse University for advertising design which I did for 20 years prior to writing.
But I started writing during that time. I worked in advertising. I think all those experiences allowed me to color my world if you will. Sing on the page, act out scenes, and do the things I love to do, but with words.
The most challenging thing about being an author
Jenny Wheeler: And did you decide that you preferred the written word to design at some point?
Samantha Vérant: Yes. I think in advertising there’s definitely a burnout syndrome.
Where you’re working long hours, you’re selling things, and you’re creating things, and I still get that creative output.
I still play around with Illustrator and I love photography But yes, I really adore writing and I think it’s something I should have pursued when I was much younger. I’ve always been an avid reader.
Jenny Wheeler: If there’s one thing that you would credit as the quote ‘secret of your success’ in your writing life, what would it be?
Samantha Vérant: It is never give up. Believe in yourself, at the same time push forward and onwards. Rejection is a big word. You start off with trying to get an agent. To make this more positive, celebrate all your tiny victories too.
Jenny Wheeler: Are you still with the same publisher that you started with?
Samantha Vérant: I am as of now, but I’m working on a new book and we’ll see if they like it.
Jenny Wheeler: What do you find the most challenging thing about being an author?
Samantha Vérant: I think it’s finding the motivation to sit in the chair, because you’re not answering to anybody but yourself. You have to set times and write every day, even if it’s for an hour.
I try and write here three to four hours a day, minimum. Unless I’m doing other things like my photography and cooking. I think it’s just setting your own timelines and finding the structure to do it.
A cat with very strong character
Get the words on the page. Take a break. Even if I am not writing, I may go for a walk in the park to clear my head.
I’m thinking about a scene I wrote and I might come back full of inspiration and then type in that weird cat and that weird mi name.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, that cat is quite a character in Bistro, I must say quite an amazing character in Bistro. It’s fun to know that it is really your own cat.
Samantha Vérant: I hope he doesn’t sue me for using him as a character. And I used his last name in the Sophie books,
Jenny Wheeler: This is the Joys of Binge Reading, and you’ve already mentioned that you are a passionate reader.
Tell us a bit about your reading tastes. Have you ever been a binge reader and what are you reading at the moment or recently that you’d like to recommend to listeners?
Samantha Vérant: I am definitely a binge reader. You have to rip a book from my hands. I usually finish a book, if not in one day, then two days, maximum three days, unless I’m Beta reading for somebody and I have to put my notes in, then that’s a bit longer.
But I pretty much always have a book in my hand or on my iPad because they’re easier to get in France via Kindle or iPad.
What Samantha Vérant is reading
I read a lot across genres, cozy mysteries, thrillers, a lot of women’s fiction. I recently read a cozy mystery I love and I didn’t know I loved cozy mysteries, but a benefit of working with Berkeley, who was my publisher for the last books, is I get Advanced Reader Copies, books that I can request or my author friends send me a widget to download from Net Galley and read.
I’ve got a big TBR (To Be Read) file. Huge.
So I’m currently reading Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, and Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke’s Forever Hold Your Peace, which comes out in June. And what else do I have on my TBR pile? A Man Called Ove, by Frederik Backman?
Jenny Wheeler: What’s Forever Hold Your Peace? What genre is it?
Samantha Vérant: Forever Hold Your Peace is women’s fiction and Lisa and Liz are amazing authors.
They gave me what we call in the industry a ‘blurb,’ which is an endorsement for Spice Master. And I saw that they had a new book coming out. And it’s father of the brides meets bride wars.
But the war is between the two moms that of the bride to be, and the groom to be, and it’s a lot of fun.
Jenny Wheeler: And what did you read when you were younger? Even as a child?
Samantha Vérant : Everything. Oh my gosh. I was an early reader and I was put in, when I was three or four years old with the five and six year olds. So I was reading Charlotte’s Web The Secret Garden, Little Princess, The Giving Tree. James and the Giant Peach.
Anything by Roald Dahl. I liked fantasies a lot back then. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe.
I think in fifth grade. I would go to the library because my goal every summer was to read a classic a week.
If these is one thing Samantha would change…?
Jenny Wheeler: Looking back down the tunnel of time, if there was one thing about your writing career you’d like to change, what would it be?
Samantha Vérant: Oh, that I started earlier. I didn’t know this was the path for me. I really wish I had thought about becoming a writer way back when.
Like I said, I went to performing arts high school, but guess what?
I was too timid and shy to ever audition for anything except for school plays. Outside of that and advertising, I did enjoy it for a while, but then burnout syndrome. With writing, it’s fun because you can change.
You’re not stuck to one thing unless you’re writing a series like Patterson did with Alex Cross
Jenny Wheeler: What is next for Samantha of the author? What does your next 12 months look like?
Samantha Vérant: In the next twelve months it looks like I am driving out my lane, which could be good.
It’s something that interests me and I’m really into this suspense domestic thriller that I’m working on. It’s the working title is The Butterfly Trap, and it’s dark. It’s dirty and I’m having so much fun with it.
Jenny Wheeler: So that’s when you refer to making a change. You’ve got the freedom to do that, haven’t you?
On changing lanes and sticking to them
Samantha Vérant: People want you to stick in your lane. I guess the lane is still the same, in fact that it is targeted to women, so it’s still women’s fiction.
Jenny Wheeler: And is it set in France?
Samantha Vérant: No, this one’s set in New York which is where I go home to. My sister’s in the tri-state area. And I went to school in New York and yeah. And it’s like a ‘ripped from the headlines’ thing too.
Jenny Wheeler: One of the things on your website that we haven’t mentioned at all is that you are definitely a wine lover. You mentioned that on your website. When did that passion begin and how has it changed since you’ve been in France, or has it changed since you’ve been in France?
Samantha Vérant: Oh, it’s definitely changed since I’ve been in France. I really like wine. if I drink something it’s wine. An occasional beer here and there on a hot day.
the one thing that’s changed is I’ve recently become friends with a winemaker.
Her name’s Namratha Prashanth and she’s in Bordeaux. I went out to visit her and she’s the first Indian woman to launch her own label, and so I’ve got a lot of her wine upstairs. She came here and I’m actually reading. She’s writing a memoir. And she has an agent and it should be going out on submission soon.
So I’m really excited for her. And yes, we talk a lot about wine and she she knows everything and about Bordeaux, so I’m only two and a half hours away from Bordeaux.
A wine lover with a wine historical in progress
Jenny Wheeler: Yeah. That’s great. And so are you a red or a white drinker or both?
Samantha Vérant: Mostly red. good for the heart.
Jenny Wheeler: And would you be tempted? There are quite a few books about seat in vineyards in France, which, I actually love the vineyard books in France, vineyard mysteries and things. Tempted to write one of.
Samantha Vérant : Oh, yes. I’ve been working and researching one. Since 20 2013, it’s called The Vineyards Curse, and I have wanted more historical fiction because it’s the original title was The Weeping of the Vines. And The Weeping Of The Vines is every May when the sap runs through, and it happens for two or three days.
But there are a lot of dates that come into play. There it goes back to the phylloxera virus that it was a bug that invaded France, and almost destroyed all the vineyards and .. I can’t give too much away…
Jenny Wheeler: Are you still actively working on that?
Samantha Vérant : It goes back and forth. If I hit a standstill with the thriller, I might look at it, because I have to figure out the best way to put the past – And the past, like 1976 California. So this would take place in California and in France.
Jenny Wheeler: Do you have two time zones or three? Is it historic and 1970s or is there a contemporary aspect to it as well?
Samantha Vérant: That’s what I am wondering. I have written a contemporary portion to it, and it’s a matter of structuring it so the book knows what it’s going to be.
And that’s difficult. So that’s like a bigger book because there is so much research. You wouldn’t believe the research.
Jenny Wheeler: Sounds it could end up like a trilogy.
Samantha Vérant: Oh there, there’s a possibility of that.
Where to find Samantha Vérant Online
Jenny Wheeler: Do you enjoy interacting with your readers? And where can they find you online?
Samantha Vérant: My readers can find me everywhere. I’m everywhere. I am mostly on Instagram or my Facebook author page. I have a website which also has a bunch of the recipes from How To Make A French Family. Sorry, my giant cat just distracted me. He wants food, speaking of food.
Jenny Wheeler: You mentioned your photography, so do you take quite a few photographs for your Instagram feed?
Samantha Vérant: Usually for Instagram feed I’ll put some food photos I’ve taken, but I use my cell phone a lot for that.
The photography is more a passion. I have got better and better over the years. I’ve really been training myself, light photography, dark photography. I bought a new but used camera.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s lovely. I suppose what I was really getting at was in your Instagram feed, could readers expect to see pictures, which reflect your life in France, both the food and the scenery.
Samantha Vérant: Yes. A little bit. And there are some hidden ones of you Jean Luc.
Jenny Wheeler: There you’re, there’s a hint!
Samantha Vérant: There’s cafe culture. There’s lots of my friends and the people I hang out with. La Vie En France. It’s a glimpse of my life and friends.
Jenny Wheeler: Wonderful. Samantha, thank you so much for your time. It’s been fantastic talking. Thank you so much.
Samantha Vérant: Thank you and have a wonderful evening. It’s morning here. It’s another cup of coffee,
Jenny Wheeler: Thank you.
If you enjoyed Samantha you might also enjoy…
Fiona Valpy’s French romances are like a glass of wine in French sunshine – a perfect summer – and pandemic escape. But she writes more than romance.
Fiona’s best-selling World War II fiction tells stories of remarkable women, generations apart, who use adversity to their advantage and find resilience deep within.
The link again just in case: https://thejoysofbingereading.com/fiona-valpy-ww-ii-drama/
Next Time On Binge Reading
Next on Binge Reading – in two weeks time – Bestselling biographical fiction author Marie Benedict, talks about her latest bestseller, the Mitford Affair, the story of the beautiful notorious Mitford sisters,
‘Downton Abbey’ meets ‘The Crown family saga – the story of the beautiful and notorious Mitford sisters A pick of the month choice from numerous reviewer after its launch in January described variously as ‘a silky smooth page turner’ and ‘a delicious mannered family saga…‘
That’s on binge reading next time. That’s it for today. Thanks for listening and happy reading.